Restaurant operator D&D emerges from choppy second half with sales of £108m

Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO

The owners of restaurant operator D&D London said this morning that the business is now more than twice the size it was when they purchased it from Conran Restaurants a decade ago.

Despite admitting that the second half of the last financial year, which ran to the end of March 2016, has brought challenges, it said that overall turnover was up 3% to £108m. EBITDA, meanwhile, soared 16% year-on-year to £13m.

D&D has successfully relaunched Le Pont de la Tour, Sartoria, Alcazar and 100 Wardour Street over the past 12 months, as well as opening the German Gym at King’s Cross. Revenues from its newest launch would have helped deliver even stronger top-line growth had it not been for a loss of income from the sites that were temporarily closed for refurbishment.

The most impressive like-for-like growth came from Paternoster Chophouse (28%), Quaglinos (22%) and Madison (18%).

Des Gunewardena, chairman and CEO of D&D London, said: “A lot has happened in 10 years. We have opened a number of new restaurants in London, and revamped many of our longest established venues such as Le Pont de la Tour, Quaglino’s and Alcazar in Paris. We have also expanded outside London both in the UK and overseas, and we have moved into hotels. In turnover terms we are today about 2.5 times the size we were when we bought the business from Conran in 2006.”

Quaglinos

Mr Gunewardena said the second half of D&D’s last financial year was “certainly not a bed of roses”, but added that revenues held up well and it had managed to post another year of solid sales growth and record profits.

“And in the current financial year, despite a disappointing early summer and uncertain period around the date of the EU referendum, our revenues have continued to increase,” he said. “Much of this growth is coming from new ventures such as the German Gymnasium and from our recently refurbished restaurants. This month sees Bluebird being given a new look and in early 2017 wewill open restaurants, cafes and bars at Land Securities’ Nova development in Victoria.”

D&D is also planning to open new restaurants in Leeds and Manchester at the end of next year. “Despite the uncertainties surrounding the UK’s relationship with the EU, we remain confident in and will continue to invest in new ventures in the UK as well as in projects overseas,” added Mr Gunewardena.

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